Ring-opening homo- and co-polymerization of lactides and ε-caprolactone by salalen aluminum complexes

Alessia Pilone, Nicolina De Maio, Konstantin Press, Vincenzo Venditto, Daniela Pappalardo, Mina Mazzeo, Claudio Pellecchia, Moshe Kol, Marina Lamberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aluminum complexes of non-chiral-salalen ligands were investigated in the catalysis of ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of lactide and ε-caprolactone and in their copolymerization. The aluminum-salalen complexes were found to polymerize all varieties of lactide, namely: L-, D-, rac- and meso-lactide, and showed moderate productivities. rac-LA gave rise to isotactic polylactides (with Pm up to 72%), while meso-LA gave rise to heterotactic polylactides (with a Pm of 79%). An experiment was designed for distinguishing between chain-end control and enantiomorphic-site control combined with polymeryl exchange for the isotactic stereoblock microstructure observed for the PLA produced from rac-LA; it gave strong evidence for polymeryl exchange between propagating species. Finally, this class of catalysts promoted the copolymerization of ε-caprolactone and lactides. In particular, compound 2b allowed controlled random copolymerization of ε-caprolactone and L-lactide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2157-2165
Number of pages9
JournalDalton Transactions
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2015

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